How to Prepare Your Kids for Back-to-school Time
Shifting gears from the lazy days of summer vacation into a no-nonsense, back-to-school mindset can be a big transition for the whole family. Thankfully, there’s a lot that you can do to help get your kids ready for school. We’re here to help you navigate that big adjustment for the school year ahead with some great tips for you and your family.
How to Build Structure into Your Summertime Routines
By keeping a tight wake-up and to-bed schedule in the summer months, your kids will be prepared for new school routines when you need them to be up and at 'em in the early AM. Here are a few ways to create habits that can benefit your kids as they transition from summer back to school:
Set a summer alarm clock. Sleep cycles will need to be more routine in the weeks before school begins. Prepare your child by getting them inexpensive alarm clocks, and reward them for setting it and getting up the moment it goes off. They’ll love the extra goodies they get for cooperating, and your kids will have a head start on getting up early regularly.
Build out routines for meals. Create a calendar for the final month of summer break and schedule mealtimes that resemble their school routine. Set reminders in your phone to help you remember — summer break is sometimes a hard habit to break. Try not to let them snack between meals as much and you’ll be helping their metabolism to adjust to a more school-like lunchtime schedule.
Create summertime assignments. Start by having the kids clean their room and ready their homework area for school. Stock it with pens, pencils and paper. Look online for spelling and math worksheets to refresh their skills. Schedule these to occur right after breakfast and help them stay on-task for about an hour each day. With a little refresher in place, they’re more likely to be ready to learn when school is in session.
Create a sick day plan now. Think about how you plan to handle your kids being sick. Take some time and get in touch with babysitters or others in your support network. When your kids wake up with a fever, you’ll be glad you made plans ahead of time.
Go screenless. In the weeks before school, transition your kids away from electronics. Mandatory no-screen times, from apps to video games, can be replaced with trips to the library and quiet time spent reading. With a little less screen time each day, you’re helping them to migrate into a better back-to-school head space.
Create a school night routine. On weeknights before school begins, get your kids into a nighttime rhythm of bathing, brushing teeth and quiet time reading before the lights to out. They’ll adjust more gradually to the new bedtime routine and you can ensure they’ll have the rest they need for those busy days ahead.
Reduce those first day jitters. Keep the little minds healthy with a fifteen minute mindfulness break each morning. A good kid’s meditation app will help them to focus their minds for the day ahead — and if it sticks, they may breathe more easily when away at school.
Prepare for After School Activities in the Weeks Before School Starts
As school gets into full swing, coordinating after-school schedules can be daunting. Between practices, rehearsals and all the rest, it’s smart to get ahead of the game and make a plan:
Enroll in after school activities before the new school year starts. Instead of getting wait-listed, take on the task of signing up for activities early. You’ll benefit with the early warning of knowing where and when you’ll need your kids to be, and they’ll be glad they made the cut.
Create an online calendar for each child. Google calendars is a great utility to use for this purpose. Assign a color to each kid in the calendar and connect the individual calendars to a master one for a complete picture of the family activities.
Make a kid delivery schedule. Instead of waiting till the last minute, set aside some time to plan the kid commute. If their schedule overlaps, and you need coverage, you’ll have the time to make arrangements and get organized. Be sure to coordinate an alternate driver if you find yourself unable to get them at the last minute.
How to Make Shopping for School Supplies Easier
Even though the kids think shopping in person for supplies is great fun, the truth is that it can be stressful. Here are a few suggestions to keep the Zen in your day and still get the job of finding school supplies done quickly and efficiently.
Get a list of supplies from the school’s website. Now that you know what you need, you can search over the summer for the best deals on things you’ll need like headphones and other back to school tech.
Inquire about school supply fulfillment groups. Sometimes, companies will do the compiling of supplies for you. Look online to see if your school has a flat-fee program that allows you to order all the supplies from a designated third party — that gets it done for you. You save time and they’ll have exactly what need as they head back to school.
Shop online for school supplies. If you’ll be picking up supplies on your own, dedicate an hour or two in the final weeks of summer and buy online. You just might find free, expedited delivery that’s offered by so many providers today.
And there you have it! A more organized efficient plan for the end of summer and the start of a new school year. With a little planning and a lot of determination, you have helped your kids segue more smoothly into school and thrive in the months ahead.